Lost in Texas: Favorite Escapes From Around the State

Just when you think you have seen all there is to see in Texas, you make your way to some of Texas’ incredible hidden gems!

And that’s what makes Texas so insanely amazing: there’s always something or somewhere to discover and create your own lasting memories!

Enjoy this impeccable list of Hidden Gems that Houstonians can surely put to good use this summer!


A photograph of a family of four in a car.

I’m not good at standing still. Nothing to do with balance, just my inability to enjoy the walls around me for too long.

I’m always planning my next trip.

And I’m not talking about anything extravagant. I’ll explore a new trail, new restaurant, new gas station right outside of town if they make a good burger.

I just like to plan. And dream. Look out someone else’s sink window for awhile.

And we are a family of travelers. The kids didn’t really have a choice, one was born in New Orleans, the other, Amsterdam. Both were on their first international flights by the time they were 3 months old. Which is completely different from my own upbringing–I was 22 the first time I left this continent. But I had a wanderer’s heart, long before that.

A photograph of a woman with a cliff and river in the background.

When the pandemic hit and the world kindly whispered, “stay inside, please,” I obeyed. I understood that traveling would be put on hold, while we concentrated on more important things. I only threw like, three tantrums.

I waited. But still, I planned. Quietly, where no one could see.

Then the world started to slowly open its doors and I decided to put my plans in action.

Road trips. In Texas. As close as Brenham. As far as Big Bend National Park. Random, glorious places, in between. Save up. Then go.

We’ve done the BIG Texas showstoppers: Austin, San Antonio, Dallas. I wanted to see the ones no one is yelling about. The ones you can get lost in and not mind.

I have found that part of the fun of traveling is in the place you rest your head. For me, home rentals {airbnb, vrbo, homeaway} are the first places I look. They often end up being more affordable and family-friendly {helllllo extra bedroom and kitchen table} than most hotels.

And they allow me to find gems. Quirky, fantastic places that are sometimes even more fun than the actual destination.

A few things I look for when trying to book an airbnb for my family:

1) Reviews. Not only do I want them to be really good, I want there to be many for me to sift through.

2) Character. I want it to stand out. Not your average hideaway. Give me something special. Doesn’t have to be expensive or loud, just something I won’t forget.

3) Cleanliness. Chances are, I’m leaving behind my own dirty house. I want to slip away to something smelling fresh. Also, sanitation is a prettttty big deal right now.

4) Proximity to {activity or downtown area}. I don’t want to be too far from the activity I’ve come all the way out for.

After I’ve found the perfect place, it’s time to wander. Here are some of my favorites ::

A child walking down a ramp leading to a park.

Bartlett, TX 

Ever wanted to stay in a piece of history? A church from 1875? Something with a superb record collection and clawfoot bathtub? A little less than three hours from Houston {close to Austin and Georgetown} is the super unique, historic town of Bartlett. Itty bitty. But with an {almost} ghost town of a downtown, it was a super fun little lark to take with the family. And definitely one of the most unique homes we have stayed in. Check out more about Bartlett, here. And view the spectacular home we stayed at, here.

Two children playing outside an old church.

A town center. Wimberley, TX

I could have stayed in Wimberley for weeks. MONTHS. But alas, we had to pick up our dog from the kind people that watch him when we skip town. This cool city is located on the river, full of take-your-breath-away scenery, and it has a surprisingly lively city center area. There are a ton of fun places to rent for the weekend. We decided to choose a modern cabin overlooking the river at 7a Ranch. We found our listing right here, on airbnb. Not only was the cabin itself PERFECT for a family, but located on the property is an entire miniature Pioneer Town {depicting life from the 1880s}. It was our kids’ favorite part of the entire trip–you can run through and explore and check out an old fashioned ice cream shop, arcade, Opera House, and antique shops.

A child sitting at a picnic table on the front porch of a cabin. A child running down a dirt street in a small town center.

Brenham, TX

Just over an hour from Houston, PERFECT for a day or short weekend trip, is Brenham. We stayed at this precious little rental, right in the middle of downtown, walking distance to EVERYTHING {beer garden, restaurants, shops, toy stores, and the IG praised store, Ballad of the Bird Dog}. And of course, you HAVE to stop at the Blue Bell Creamery on the way in to see where all the magic happens.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the place we stayed in {but you can click on the link to see it} so you will just have to stare at my daughter’s big cheese face and trust me.

A smiling mother and child sitting at an outdoor café. A sign that states Smile y'all you're in Brenham and there's art.

Fort Stockton, TX

We stopped by this historic little town on the way to Big Bend. Stayed in the most thoughtful, well-designed lil airbnb. And BONUS, the owner also owns the world’s cutest beer garden, directly on the side of her rentals!

A house with a fenced in yard.

Marfa, TX

This was another stop on our way to Big Bend. If you are in the art world or lucky enough to be a fashion influencer, I am sure you have heard of this extraordinary town {or at least, the Marfa PRADA art installation}. Honestly, this is one of my favorite towns in the US. The hardest part is getting there. You have to REALLY want to go–it’s in the middle of nowhere. And I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED our rental. So unique. So fun. PERFECT location for exploring.

Two children sitting in a loft in a home.

Terlingua, TX

I have saved the best for last. Well, for me, at least. Because I like weird. And this place… the weirdest. In a great way. An actual ghost town. Located right outside of Big Bend National Park. Ten hours from Houston {plan a BIG road trip}. A once in a lifetime experience. And you guys, the place we stayed… BEST view in Texas. I will fight someone about that.

Two children jumping on the beds in a room with many windows. A home with large windows in a desert space.

Next up on the calendar, Galveston! Which… okay, not too unique, and we have certainly been a few times. BUT you have to check out where we are staying. LOOK. Tell me that doesn’t just make you want to pack a bag and blow off some responsibilities.

And the last thing I will leave you with is this gift. My #1 dream airbnb in Fredericksburg. It’s rocking 277, five star reviews. It is NEVER available. But I check on it, every other month, sometimes twice, and I know one day, it will be mine for an entire weekend {or a random Wednesday, I’m not picky}. Here are a few of it’s perks :: it’s a FREAKING TREE HOUSE, hot tub, book nook, hammock, soft colors, record player, overlooks a creek… that might be the sexiest sentence of this entire post. Book. It.

Happy travels, folks.


Pin this post and be sure to follow
Houston Moms Blog
on Pinterest!

Lost in Texas: Favorite Escapes from around the State. A photograph of a woman with a cliff and river in the background. Logo: Houston moms.

Previous articleThe Ten Best Summer Play Date Ideas: For Kids AND Moms
Next articleDreaming and Living: The Magic of Trying New Things as an Adult
Britany B
Britany is currently lost in Houston, but not worried because she brought plenty of snacks. An avid traveler with a wild, squishy heart--she birthed one baby in New Orleans, the other, in Amsterdam. She recently bought a dog, named him Dragon, and brags to strangers about it. In a former life, she owned a wedding planning business; misses the free cake, the most. When she isn’t avoiding cooking AT ALL COSTS, she is trying to squeeze out some good words, hoping to make a living by using her imagination and pen to scare children (the next great kidlit series, they say). She prefers her drinks dirty. Is anxious. Kind of wishes it was Halloween. And will likely hug you a beat too long and make it weird.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here